Discussing Divorce With Children Requires One Important Thing From Parents — It's Honesty!
The reality of going through the breakup of a marriage is hard on couples but it's even harder for those with kids. Discussing divorce with children, however, would go a lot better if parents apply one important rule — be honest to the kids about what is happening.
Therapist Alyson Jones advised parents to make the divorce talk with kids authentic and thoughtful. She said it will be one of the hardest things parents will engage with their children and it's normal for moms or dad to feel some guilt and discomfort about it, as per Huffington Post.
Discussing divorce with children, however, will progress smoothly if parents are honest about it. Acknowledging feelings of sadness or regrets to the kids will hasten the healing of the family from this ordeal. The children should also see that parents are in control and have plans involving them even if the marriage is breaking up.
Parents should also make it clear to the children there will be some changes, like the schedules and the living situation. Parents, however, need to emphasize that even with the changes, some things will remain the same, such as their love, care and attention for the children.
Other experts agree open communication with the kids is crucial when discussing divorce, as per ABC. The transition for the kids will be easier if behind all the chaos, the children can still enjoy some comforts with their parents. Thus, consistency and keeping routines are also helpful, if not important as well.
Keep discussions about divorce age-appropriate because each child will have different questions. For younger kids, they might ask some questions over and over, so parents need to have patience and show calmness in addressing their concerns. It might be helpful for parents to rehearse what they have to say to the kids if possible, according to the Weinberger Law Group.